Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh, how the ball bounces

I loved small rubber bouncy balls when I was a child. I loved bouncing them on walls, seeing how high I could get one to bounce and of course dunking them in the lowered basketball goal.
My mother hated the things and I never understood why until I had children of my own.
They look to be harmless enough -- most are less than three inches in diameter. So, how much damage could they do. In the theory of a child, they are harmless.
I mean, what’s wrong with throwing this projectile as hard as I can in the house?
The problem is that in the small uncoordinated hands of a 3- or 7-year-old, they are unpredictable bullets that ricochet uncontrollably.
Case in point, the other day little and big sister each had their own bouncy ball. One threw it down the hallway. The ball bounced and nearly knocked a mirror off the wall. That ball is now hiding where she can’t find it.
Next, there is a fight and a screaming match to see who controls the remaining bouncy ball.
Big sister gains control and throws the bouncy ball. It jumps around the room, finally coming to rest squarley on the face of Little Sister, knocking her glasses onto the floor.
Glasses aren’t broken, crying stops after about two minutes. No harm, no foul. But the ball still finds its resting place in my bathroom closet.
I’m starting to learn why my mother sighed so much. Maybe it’s because even today, I’m not much better at controlling the bouncy balls. Using them outside like they are intended only means the children are continually chasing them down the driveway until I scream, “stop, don’t go in the road! I lost it, I’ll go get it.”
I think maybe I’ll go put my bouncy ball in the closet with theirs.

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